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Come with a goal, leave with a plan: Penn Staters devise strategies to ensure equity in clinical research

Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) and Penn State College of Medicine (COM) faculty and staff joined more than 50 other colleges from across the country for the fourth annual 2023 Summer Institute on Equity in the Academic Experience, led by Georgetown University, the American Talent Initiative, and ten leadership sites. Held at the Penn State Harrisburg leadership site from June 5-7, this workshop sought to tackle long-standing challenges to student success and have participants come away with concrete strategies in addressing those challenges.

“The institute was an incredible learning and networking opportunity for our team,” states Abbey Fisher, Project Manager/Research Navigator for Penn State CTSI.  “We learned about high-impact equity initiatives and were challenged to address barriers to change and ‘de-silo’ this work within our organization.”

During this three-day event, the COM and CTSI teams attended workshops, heard inspiring provocations, and worked together to create an achievable equity goal. This team’s work centered around increasing underrepresented minoritized (URM) clinical and human subjects research staff at Penn State. Their short-term goal will focus on reducing barriers for Hispanic and Latino Spanish-speaking staff working in the clinical research space. The group will spend the upcoming year identifying staff representatives, learning about their barriers, identifying and implementing staff recruitment and retention best practices, and evaluating their program. The impacts of greater representation of URM staff include improvements in recruitment and retention of minoritized research participants, and ultimately, improved public health.

To learn more about the Institute, you can click here and to follow along for key insights from the Institute, check out #EquityInstitute2023 on Twitter.

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